November 7, 2018



As you are aware, Thanksgiving is getting closer. That’s the holiday where all the relatives come and you compare families. You admire the others kids and grandkids and comment on how much they’ve grown. You take out pictures of your grandkids that couldn’t be there and compare them to other grandkids.  
Oh, you don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving. With the advent of smart phones, we all have pictures of our kids or grandkids. We have pictures of their first step. We share pictures of their first horseback ride or volleyball game. We show pictures of babies in the bathtub and pictures of their first football game. There are more pictures of kids or grandkids than there are of cats and dogs. But it is close. I can’t send you a picture of Slate. I don’t know how to do that. But let me introduce him.
Our youngest grandson, Slate, is a football player. He plays for several teams. Mostly the Eagles, or the Harding County Ranchers. His season is quite long. A year-long. Every night he pads up and heads out of the house for a late fall practice or a game. He is five years old. He is the quarterback (the guy that throws the ball) and a linebacker (the guy that tackles the guy with the ball). His oldest brother, Evan, is his coach. They have playbooks, huddle cheers, and hard, hard practices. Evan is a slave driver as a coach.
We were there yesterday for dinner. Just before dinner Slate informed me that he had a game before dinner. The Pro Bowl. His first Pro Bowl! He was pretty excited. As Grams laced up his pads and sent him out to the game, I felt a little sorry for him. It was muddy and in the mid-30s. There were patches of snow on the ground. Miserable conditions for a game. And no one in the crowd.
They were out for about a half hour. Evan calling the plays and Slate playing his heart out. When he came in I asked how his game had gone? He broke into tears and was sobbing his heart out. I figured it was because his hands were frozen and had to hurt something awful.
Nope. He was broken-hearted because he had lost! He had lost in the Pro Bowl! He said that he couldn’t win because he was playing against “Bobby Boschee!” I didn’t know who Bobby was. Evan explained he was that football player in “The Waterboy.” He was an animal. Slate was absolutely broken-hearted.
I really couldn’t figure out how he could lose, since he was the only one on the field. Evan explained that Slate thought he had scored, but Evan who calls the game, determined that Bobby had stopped Slate short of the goal line on the last play of the game. Slate was devastated.
Evan said that was only the second loss Slate had suffered in his career. The other one came when he was suspended for breaking training.  I didn’t dare ask what for. I didn’t want to know the answer.
Later, Hut, Hut,